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woman unpacking a box with her online shopping order

How Retailers Can Reduce Return Rates Without Compromise

woman unpacking a box with her online shopping order

Rising costs and inflation are a worry on everyone’s mind in 2022- consumers and retailers alike. 

This holiday season, retailers are looking to cut costs; unfortunately, free shipping or low-spending minimums for online orders are on the chopping block. While this may shock customers who have come to expect free shipping, it’s no surprise considering that online purchases make up a significant portion of returns. The large uptick in returns has been a drain on companies facing staff shortages and inflated shipping costs and isn’t sustainable at the current rate.

But there are worries that this will result in backlash from loyal customers. Many enjoy the convenience and selection of online shopping, and some even depend on it. But online shopping isn’t perfect: many returns are initiated because products aren’t as described or due to poor fit. Customers also have ways of getting around shipping minimums or dealing with the hassle of returning and reordering by ordering each size of a clothing item and returning the ones that don’t fit. 

Reducing returns without compromise.

Customers cite that ease of returns is a huge reason they are loyal to a brand, so it’s important not to obstruct the buying or returning process. What is a company to do? It’s reasonable to want to reduce excessive shipping but still encourage customers to make purchases. 

For that reason, investing in live engagement can go a long way for your customers and margins. Connecting with a live associate before making a purchase can help prevent avoidable returns by helping customers find the answers to important product questions. 

Good experiences create brand loyalty

Offering one-to-one video chats can increase customer satisfaction and trust, as well as reduce the chance of a return. Being able to show products up close and personal can reduce the likelihood of customers buying multiple sizes of the same product only to return the ones that don’t fit. Talking with the customer and showing them products via video can help set the customer’s expectations. 

With Vee24, we offer more than just video. We also have scheduling services so that customers can have a video call at their convenience. Additionally, with co-browse and screen share, agents can guide the customer to product pages or other useful information on your website, such as sizing guides.

Our client, The Watches of Switzerland Group, offers a Virtual Boutique where customers can learn about products and see them up close via video. In 2021, they reported a record of online sales of high-end watches and jewelry. With their virtual boutique in full swing, they offered customers the white glove experience for pre-sales support with product experts.

You can’t afford to not invest in your customer experience

The holiday season will be rough with staffing shortages and rising inflation this year. Knowing that a third of customers are willing to leave a brand after one bad experience, it has never been more important to connect with employees and customers, building out new experiences that work for them. It’s vital now more than ever to set customers up for success.

Now more than ever, you need a channel to connect with customers. Getting started with a chatbot is a great start, but customers appreciate the human connection most of all. Our chatbots offer the best of both worlds: they can handle simple questions and route customers to a live associate for more complex ones. This system helps customers quickly and efficiently and helps agents manage their workload.

At Vee24, we set our customers up for success. We know that the holidays are a busy time, and we prepare teams to provide the best customer experience possible, despite high call volumes. The results? Our clients have high customer satisfaction rates, and some even boast average order values of 15%.

Why not set your customers up for success? Schedule a demo to see our digital engagement on your site.